It’s not easy for an organization to last 70 years.
It’s even tougher when your membership turns over every few years.
But Westport’s Scout Troop 36 has done just that.
Organized in 1949 by Saugatuck Congregational Church, the troop has helped thousands of boys learn life skills, become leaders, and form lasting friendships.
It’s weathered the ups and downs of Scouting nationally. Boy Scouts of America is now called “Scouts BSA.” In addition to offering programs for girls, Scouts now accept gay and transgender members.
Numbers have waxed and waned over the years. In 2015, there were only 9 Scouts. Today, 28 boys are members of Troop 36.
They meet every Monday night in Hoskins Hall, and hold one outing a month. Last year they went cold-weather camping in the Berkshires, spent a weekend exploring Philadelphia, backpacked up Mount Greylock, took their annual trip to Block Island and went whitewater rafting, among other adventures.
Service work includes support of the Westport Maker Faire, participating in a coastal cleanup at Sherwood Island State Park, assisting with worship and grounds cleanup at Saugatuck Church, and cleaning drainage areas at Camp Sequassen.
Every 2 years for many years, they attended the Scottish Jamboree in Edinburgh.
This July, 5 Scouts will participate in the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. They’ll join 45,000 others from over 165 countries.
No Eagle Scout records exist prior to 1961. But from that year through 2017, 123 boys earned the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.
The troop’s history includes longtime scoutmaster Jack Berry. Last June — 4 years after his death — he was honored with a plaque, at the Saugatuck Church.
Jack was one of many adult leaders and young Scouts who helped Troop 36 for 70 years. Congratulations to all — and good luck for the next 70!